eBay question

Allbooks at aol.com Allbooks at aol.com
Mon Nov 4 14:44:28 EST 2002

Interesting.  It is almost enough to make one believe price is a major 
consideration.  Well, each to his own.  In every field there are those whose 
main satisfaction is the thrill, so to speak, of the chase, among many 
factors.   Allow me, please, to ramble a bit.  The  main point is at the end 
of this post.

Probably the worst field is cookbook collectors.   Apparently you are not 
even in the league until you own several hundred.  These are not collectors 
of antiquarian cookbooks, just cooks who want lots of recipes at their 
fingertips.  So they won't pay any money for them, which in turn means it 
doesn't pay for dealers to stock cookbooks except those we may acquire for 
next to nothing.   One collector explained that there is no reason to pay any 
money for a book you'll only use once.

Birdwatchers are almost as bad.  But they seem to be very nice people.  Never 
mind the thousands they spend on cameras and travel, but not on books.

It is amazing how many of our walk-in customers expect used book stores to be 
something akin to thrift shops.  The reality is that we buy from thrift 
shops.  (I  personally collect John McPhee.  Found the very last McPhee title 
to complete the collection in a thrift shop trash can.)

We stock several hundred ML titles.  Never do we list them online.  The 
prices just don't make it worth the effort.  But there are enough local ML 
collectors who will walk out of here with an armload of ML to make it worth 
our while to continue stocking them.  By definition, we rarely see the rare 
ones.  Most of ours have dust jackets; first ML editions are scattered among 
them.  So we supply those who are not yet real fussy.  (No, we do not have 
any B&L in dj.)  But we love our ML books and our ML collectors.  BTW, we are 
now having a sale:  Buy two books, and the second (of equal or lesser price) 
is half price.  We also have a few Everyman's Library and a few dozen Oxford 
World Classics, which seem to be hard to find and a neglected collectible in 
this country.

The landlord, OTOH, really insists on regular payments.   (The obvious 
question of open shops vs. home dealers is one that has been discussed at 
length on other lists.)

Which leaves me with the real point of this post, which is to wonder, given 
the existence of the ML price guide, how often the actual prices paid for ML 
books are, more or less, those indicated by it?   Are we fantasizing the 
notion that ML collectors will actually pay the prices in the guide?

Best Regards to All,

Don Ramsey  
ALL BOOKS CONSIDERED   <A HREF="www.AllBooksConsidered.com">
10408 Montgomery Ave., Kensington MD 20895 
(301) 929-0036

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